Friday, 11 January 2013

Review: Drusillas Park, East Sussex

Late last year, a call went out from Tots100 for bloggers to review family days out on behalf on

We were lucky enough to be selected to review Drusillas Park, in East Sussex - one of the earliest zoos established in the UK. Now to be honest, we're not really zoo people. But many of our friends rave about Drusillas, so the boys were keen to try it out.

So off we set, one very cold but sunny Sunday morning in December. Despite the freezing temperatures, we had a lovely time. Being winter, the zoo was nice and quiet and the boys could easily linger at the enclosures they were most interested in without getting in anybody's way.

The reptile house (Reptile Rendezvouz) was probably the biggest hit with my two, closely followed by the marmosets. Bigger had an animal spotter book that was sent to us in our welcome pack that he could stamp along the way, recording all the animals he spotted, which really held his interest and stopped him running around madly with excitement too much.

I was really impressed with the educational resources we discovered along the way. Lots of interactive pieces that had us all trying to answer the questions.

But despite all the exotic animals, the penguins that Husband realised he'd never seen 'in real life' before and the surprisingly large porcupines (who knew they were so large?! as for the beavers...massive!), it was Thomas the Tank Engine that stole the day. Both boys were giddy at the thought of riding in Annie & Clarabell and barely glanced at the lemurs in their rush to get to the little train station.

When we'd had enough of the animals (and started to feel more than a little sorry for the poor monkeys more suited to South American rainforests that freezing East Sussex) we headed for the adventure play areas: Go Wild, Go Bananas and Amazon Adventure. Unfortunately, we missed the Amazon Adventure completely. This is an indoor soft play area that would have been a welcome respite from the cold, but we just missed the signs for it.

Instead, the boys had great fun exploring Go Wild and Go Ape while we huddled round a flask of hot coffee. Once we'd coaxed them to stop long enough to eat an egg dip dip sarnie, we headed into Eden's Eye - an interactive maze that was just superb! Sound effects and mechanised moving parts had us taking wrong turns and jumping out of our skins, but was possibly one of the highlights of the day for the adults.

In the end we spent a lovely morning at Drusillas. If it had been warmer, we could definitely have stayed all day. There's so much to see and do and there's some great outdoor play areas including a little lagoon for paddling in. I really wouldn't want to pay the peak prices for a family ticket at £63.99 for a family of 4 (we like to be frugal!). But if you can brave the weather, the super saver price of £35.99 for a family of 4 (available in February and November), is money well spent.

We were kindly given a family ticket for Drusillas in return for writing this review. All views are my own and are an honest reflection of our experience.

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